The little urchin started running toward the back of the building. Carling didn’t follow. Instead, she peered through the window. With muscles quivering she watched as the light from a candle cast a yellow glow around the room, lighting the sneering faces of the innkeeper and the witch.
Carling gasped and jerked back, pressing her body against the rough, gray boards of the building. Her face turned ashen and her lips and chin trembled. “It’s true then,” she whispered.
“C-c-come. Come right n-now,” hissed the little Duende girl between chattering teeth. She stood by the corner of the building and motioned frantically with her arms.
Carling bent down and grabbed the Silver Breastplate. She placed it on her body, latching it on the sides as she ran toward the waif.
“Now what?” asked Carling, feeling helpless and confused. She hadn’t planned to be outside in the middle of a frigid winter night and knew she was not dressed warmly enough. As she considered the frightened eyes and ragged clothing of the little girl, she realized her helper wasn’t any better off. Carling was sad that she didn’t even have a cloak with her that she could wrap around the poor girl.
“I have a hiding place. Follow me.” The waif turned on her dirty, shoeless heels and dashed away. This time, Carling followed.
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